Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective
of Creighton University's Online Ministries

March 6th, 2009

Patrick Carter

Junior; Justice and Socity Major

Ez 18:21-28
Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
Mt 5:20-26

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The Daily Reflections

What if we were to follow Jesus’ commandment in today’s Gospel? “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” In a Christian context, we can see the temple as attending Church on Sunday. Imagine a faith that would require us to forgive others and seek forgiveness from others before we are able to go to mass. But this is exactly what Jesus calls us to do in today’s Gospel.

As this Gospel reading occurs during Lent, its purpose is to demonstrate the importance of repentance, forgiveness, and renewal – this reading achieves this. However, I believe that it suggests a much broader and burdensome demand from Jesus. We tend to compartmentalize our faith, keep it contained from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Sunday mornings. I live my life in a faith-less, consumption-driven society. Then, on Sundays, I go and give God and my faith an hour of my week, and then it is back to secularism. If I were to meet Jesus today, walking down the sidewalk with disciples in tow, he would surely classify me as a follower of the Pharisees – I follow the rules (go to Church, do not kill, do not steal, do not covet), so I am set for salvation. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Oh, no. Not so fast there, Patrick.” He says that it is not good enough to do as the Scribes and Pharisees by strictly following the “rules.” Rather, we are to be more righteous than the most stringent adherents to these rules. Rather than consolidating faith to Sunday mornings, we are to implement the practice of Jesus in everything that we do. This is not easy. It means being with the materially poor, the spiritually poor, the socially outcast, and surrendering excesses so that humanity lives in a sustainable manner. Additionally, Jesus tells us that, when we do not live this way – when we do not resolve conflicts with our sisters and brothers – we are not welcome to worship in the Lord’s house. This does not mean that we are barred from entering the church down the street but the Kingdom of God. To live a life that models Jesus’ is difficult, counter-cultural, challenging, and…a necessity. It is our call as Christians to not live a life of a contained faith, but one that permeates and enriches every moment of our lives.


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